I really don’t know where I’m heading with this “rites of spring” theme. But here are some more links.
1. Symbolist-inspired children’s author Lemony Snicket has announced the impending publication of the final book in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. Apparently Daniel Handler is moving on to other things, and we’ll check out whatever he does next. My kids went crazy for these books, and they have pretty good taste. I read the first installment and was extremely impressed; these books are packaged like cheap Harry Potter knockoffs, but in fact they are deeply odd shaggy-dog stories, intriguingly gothic and, more than anything else, very funny. Well done, Snicket.
2. Here’s another New York event I am really looking forward to: PEN World Voices, April 25-30. Look at this list of international authors: Chinua Achebe, Esther Allen, Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Staceyann Chin, E. L. Doctorow, Raymond Federman, Henry Louis Gates, Nadine Gordimer, Philip Gourevitch, David Grossman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Hitchens, Bob Holman, Moses Isegawa, Elias Khoury, Larry Kramer, Philip Lopate, Norman Manea, Patrick McGrath, Ritu Menon, Rick Moody, Toni Morrison, Naomi Shihab Nye, Orhan Pamuk, Willie Perdomo, Salman Rushdie, George Saunders, Zadie Smith, Robert Stone, Jeanette Winterson. Who am I most looking forward to seeing? That would be Orhan Pamuk, maybe just because I will feel for 45 minutes like a character in one of his self-referential tales.
4. Here are two enjoyable links of a classical nature. Chaucer has a blog apparently, and that’s got to be what the game’s been missing. Then, somebody has translated a Shakespeare passage into ActionScript. Which is very cool, except for one thing: ActionScript? That’s so 2003. Oh well … I guess Shakespeare was so 1594.